In the last week I’ve spent over 20 hours in airports across the US; and as an avid people watcher, I noticed that a lot of slow walkers just don’t take advantage of airport wheelchair assistance.
There they were, walking very slowly with canes and walkers or just on the arm of a companion. To be honest, I wanted to stop a few of them and encourage them to request an airport wheelchair; however I thought that would be too intrusive. So instead I’ll post my recommendations here, in hopes it will get to the masses.
The fact is, airports are very large. Indeed, you can put on several miles just making connections and getting to and from the parking lot. And it’s even worse during the holiday season, when long lines make things even more uncomfortable for people who cannot stand for long periods of time.
But the good news is, travel doesn’t have to be painful!! You don’t have to arrive at your destination fatigued. All you have to do is request wheelchair assistance when you make your reservation, and an airport wheelchair (and a pusher) will be provided to you at check-in. It’s free!! You won’t have to stand in long lines, and in most cases you’ll get through security with a minimum of muss and fuss.
And in the larger airports, you’ll get electric cart service between your connecting gates.
Now I know from talking to travelers that many slow walkers don’t like to use airport wheelchairs because they want to leave them for “somebody more disabled.” The truth is, those wheelchairs are for you. Full-time wheelchair-users travel with their own wheelchairs, and they stay in them until they reach the gate.
And when the gate agent asks if anybody needs extra time to preboard; take advantage of that offer too. Even if you don’t use an assistive device; if you walk slow and need extra time to get down the jetway, you are entitled to preboard the aircraft. In the long run it makes the boarding process go faster for everyone.
So before you take to the friendly skies this holiday season, remember these helpful tips. You’ll arrive at your destination more rested, and ready to really enjoy the holidays with your friends and family.
Have a good trip! And don’t forget to listen to the redhead!!